360 session: Matej Lančarič. Lessons learned from spending 25 million profitably
Join Replai’s Richard Bond, and Matej Lančarič for a deep dive into all things creative optimization, user acquisition and mobile marketing. Matej Lančarič shares valuable tips and best practices learned from spending 25 million dollars, profitably. What pitfalls do you have to look out for, when do you know whether or not a campaign is going to be a succes, and how do you manage stakeholders while staying focused on UA are among the topics that we'll explore. One of his biggest take aways; spend, spend, spend!
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Richard: Really excited about today. I'm joined by Matej. Do you want to introduce yourself quickly?
Matej: Thanks for having me. So yeah, my name is Matej, I'm from Slovakia. I've been in the industry for nine years already and started my career here at, which is the biggest game developer in Slovakia. I mean, it's like five of them here, so it's not that hard to be, to be the biggest one. But I was there since 2013 when Facebook was a thing. So every, every game a big developer was on Facebook games. And then we started porting everything to mobile. So I was the soft launch owner in global on drawing over the games and the, and then after five years while I learned everything I know now there, so it was really nice, right. I left the company, joined other marketing agency here in Slovakia, build a team from scratch to like 25 UI plus creatives. It's also a very good experience. And then last year, just a we'll start. It really started, but I'm doing the Mo mobile, like independent UX consultancy thing, which I already started pixel Federation cause started like, you know, working with different developers here and there side gigs, just to get more experiences from different genres and different games because different games also, you know, different budgets and different challenges. So definitely amazing. It
Richard: Sounds like a lot of experience
Matej: Nine years. Oh yeah, definitely, and not complaining at all.
Richard: Just to kind of give some context though, I've found you through for an article and through some recommendations from some people that I've interviewed here before, who mentioned, obviously that you've got a huge amount of experience spending a lot of money, but more importantly, spending it profitably and talking about AB testing and your most recent global launch. I was really hoping that we could dig into some lesson learns from, from that and, and how people might apply that to, you know, soft launches or new launches in the new year. So very excited to dig into this. So very specifically I was told that you'd spent 25 million euros profitably. So if we had to start somewhere, give us three do's and three don'ts that you've learned from spending money in that fashion,
Matej: It's actually pretty easy. So let's, let's start with the do's. So I would say observe a learning experiment. It's not the crucial part of the, my whole career was starting to understand like how things work and not only games in general, but campaigns, creatives targeting and everything else. So I was looking a lot of at our competitors and understanding what they do. Why is it important and what it's like everything trying to deconstruct them. And then coming up with my own plan, how to actually beat the competition.
And obviously I want to, I want it to be better than the competition, which brought me to experimenting, you know, and since our whole industries is changing every week, maybe every month, let's say that way. I not afraid of experimenting the shit out of it because that's really important. And that's sometimes the only way how to learn properly. Also the, the real advice I have it's just spend, spend, spend. Now in my book like the senior senior year, you a person is, is not determined by like years of experience running campaigns, but actually by a level of spent because you know, you just need to spend a lot to see some patterns right away when it happens. And now, you know, look at the campaigns and I see already like, huh, okay. So this is what's what's wrong and this is what's happening. And this is what I need to do because I already seen that like millions of times before,
Richard: This is really interesting. Just reiterate on that, obviously there's a lot there in terms of splitting your time into three key areas, but it also sounds like you shouldn't be afraid to look at what else is going on and to, to actually fail essentially. Right?
Matej: Yeah. I failed a lot, failed miserably, but it's always experience you can take and then build on that, like all the next steps and in terms of the don'ts. Well, first of all, don't listen to every expert out there, me included. Because you can hear the best practices from left to right then what to do and what don't do that here and there, which usually everything is a good, good advice anyway, but it's always without the context. So to basically do your own homework, which brings me again, back to do, but do your own homework and don't try to do everything you have been told to because well, you need to find your own way, how to help to experiment, do things. No.
Richard: Nice. All right. So observe what's going on, tests spend, right. But then don't be held back by what everyone else is saying. Well actually, I know exactly what you mean by that. We call it paralysis by analysis. You know, you've got so many different things that everyone's telling you what to do. You just don't do anything and that's sometimes worse. So out of all those things, though, let me see if I can push you to something. Let let's say that you could only, you know, you're dealing with someone you'll, you know, they're looking for your advice and you're saying, right, well, you can only do one of these things in order to see the biggest impact, you know, observe the test and spend, like you were saying, w w what would you tell them that they should focus on
Matej: The spend man, it's always going to be the spend, I just wanted to learn more from spending with different games and different in different genres, because that's, that's what gives you the most learnings, always. So, you know, different games, different levels of spent different teams as well, which is also like, again, like a different challenge, which eventually will form you. And then your experience is for the next, next steps on the future.
Richard: Nice. Would you say it was more important for someone to spend and get learnings rather than sit and try and perfect their testing methodology? When they're looking to do something new, do you think you get more from spending money and seeing what it does than trying to come up with like a perfect way of testing?
Matej: I would say that I would say that.
Richard: So in terms of someone looking to soft launch in 2022, I mean, there has been so many changes this year. There has been some huge bombs that have happened in the industry. What kind of advice would you give them to at least have the best start?
Matej: You know, there was this small thing called IDFA. Yeah. Briefly. Well, he wasn't the apocalypse, but definitely changed the way how we evaluate campaigns. And we look at things and, and then all the conversion scheme has SK and network was sort of discussed like millions of times. But with these in mind, what's changed quite a lot is, you know, soft launch, having a different conversion schemas set up and trying to test it out multiple times before going to the global laundry would be very much crucial. And like starting to do these in the monetization phase or soft launch is the right time to do so because you have almost everything you need in the game. And then you can, you can look at things more clearly with monetization and obviously like retention already in place. So, yeah, that's, that would be the key thing, like testing out different conversion schemers, because while it took me like three or four months to get advice for a couple of games and well, there were, after the global laundries, weed was easier. So we had the plenty of time to test it out, but it's just, you know, you need that time and that those data to actually figure it out, if it makes sense or not, that's a, that's something I I'm I'm doing before the global room.
Richard: So let's say we had a million to spend on a new title that we were launching between now and Q1, obviously, game genres sub-genres specific on it, that it makes a difference. But if you, if you had that a million and you wanted to spend it most effectively, could you give us an idea of, of how you would approach that to make sure the launch was as effective as you could make it?
Matej: The Q4 is probably not the best timing for a global launching, like even the, the fight we're facing really high competition in terms of the brands and, you know, black Friday and Christmas, but Q1 is usually a great, great spot for the, for the UA. And until the Q1 hits, I would just probably double down on the creative production, you know, since we have already the data from the, from the soft land. Right. So then, yeah, it depends on the, the monetization of the game, if it's ads or in apps or both, but let's say based on, on the game, whatever it is, I would make the traditional channels like Facebook, Google, UAC, and networks, and, and, you know, became pain set up. Our strategy is not the hardest part of the global launch. Obviously everything looks good on the paper. So, you know, you prepare the global launch, you go, you push the button and then there, you know, everything just breaks.
So it's always how it goes. Yeah. In reality. Yeah. Like I said, everything, almost everything goes wrong. You need to have a plan, a, B and C because you know, these plans again comes with the company experience and the level of spend they thought about in the beginning. So yeah, you need to be, you need to be aware of, of the, all the bad things that can go wrong and be prepared for it. So that's, you know, that's the thing. So I would just, you know, make some match the usual traditional things in terms of the UAE channels, but then be prepared for, for the worst.
Richard: So leverage the data you've got from the soft launch, use the quiet time to really refine your creative and your creative strategy. Maybe you come up with lots of things to, again, test, but test quickly with a lot of spend, but then push the button. Cause you know, things are going to go wrong and is better. They go wrong quickly and you're ready to change them and make the most of it. Yeah, exactly. And then spend, spend, spend,
Matej: Spend, spend, spend exactly.
Richard: So if someone wants to get in touch with you and, you know, pick this conversation up or like have some, you know, have you helped them with their launch or their UK strategy? What's the best way to get in touch?
Matej: I think ping me on LinkedIn or visit my website.